• Heart transplantation;
  • osteoporosis. Osteoporosis;
  • heart transplantation

Abstract To evaluate osteopenic bone disease in heart transplant patients, we prospectively measured bone mineral density (BMD) in 33 consecutive male recipients before hospital discharge and 1 year later, using dual photon absorptiometry. At hospital discharge BMD measurement at the lumbar spine was only 90% of that expected in healthy age- and sex-matched controls (P= 0.005). One year later BMD had further decreased by 8.5% at the lumbar spine and by 10.4% at the femoral neck (P= 0.0001). Five patients suffered vertebral compression fractures during the 1st postoperative year. Our results indicate that osteopenia of the lumbar spine is already present at the time of hospital discharge after transplantation and that further bone loss occurs at a considerable rate during the 1st postoperative year at the lumbar spine and at the femoral neck.